"originally released in 1999 on the Ame Ambient label, "Utsuho" was Kazuya Nagaya's first ambient music album ~ a delicately constructed sonic world largely composed of the sounds of traditional bells and gongs found in the temples of Tibet, Bali or Japan, juxtaposed with delicate use of modern keyboards and guitars.
the textures of "Utsuho" ~ named after a mystical tree hollow with magical powers in the 10th century Japanese Novel "Utsuho Monogatari" ~ feature heavily the deeply reverberating sounds of these traditional temple instruments. informed by the sensibilities and philosophical views of his previous literary works, Nagaya's music takes a deeply spiritual path. the sound of giant Japanese temple bells that feature heavily in his music are listened to every New Year's eve by large crowds who flock to the temples in the belief that the long echoes of the bell chimes can purify and wash away the the cares of the mortal world. the reverent silence of the crowds reflect the sensation of deep personal calm engendered through meditation or Zen. Nagaya's debut album gets a release on Minus, as Hawtin looks again to support another aspect of Japanese art that he finds so inspiring:
"a few years ago while in Tokyo I found myself in a small Japanese arts and crafts store. After looking around for twenty minutes or so I started to realize that a soft and almost inperceivable rhythm of bells and gongs had been playing in the background. The subtle vibrations of tones had taken over my subconscious and reverberated in my head and transfixed my attention. This experience led me to the work of Kazuya Nagaya whose delicate use of sonic landscapes remind me of the more quiet moments of Consumed." Richie Hawtin